Te lucis ante terminum

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General Information

Evening hymn (5th-6th cent., author anon.), sung liturgically as the Office hymn at Compline. See also O Lord, the maker of all thing for an English paraphrase.

Settings by composers

Other settings possibly not included in the manual list above

Text and translations

There are several versions of this text in Latin.

As found in the Monastic Breviary and the Roman Breviary:

Latin.png Latin text

Te lucis ante terminum,
Rerum Creator, poscimus,
Ut pro tua clementia,
Sis praesul et custodia.

Procul recedant somnia,
Et noctium phantasmata:
Hostemque nostrum comprime,
Ne polluantur corpora.

Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
Cum Spiritu Paraclito,
Regnans per omne saeculum.

Amen.

 

At Eastertide the last verse is replaced by:

Deo Patri sit gloria
Et filio, qui a mortis
Surrexit et Paraclito,
In sempiterna saecula.

Until Ascension, when it changes to:

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui victor in caelum redis,
Cum Patre et almo Spiritu
In sempiterna saecula.

At Marian feasts the following is substituted instead:

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui natus es de Virgine,
Cum Patre et alma Spiritu
In sempiterna saecula.

According to the Rev. E. J. Quigley in his book The Divine Office, the "unrevised" text is:

Latin.png Latin text

Te lucis ante terminum,
Rerum Creator poscimus,
Ut solita clementia
Sis praesul ad custodiam.









Praesta pater omnipotens
Per Jesum Christum Dominum
Qui tecum in perpetuum
Regnat cum Sancto Spiritu

Tallis's settings of this hymn use the above "unrevised" version with an inserted second verse the same as the Monastic/Roman Breviary version listed first. The second verse is set in polyphony; the first and third verses use the plainsong setting.

The version in Liturgia Horarum is four verses. The first and last are as in the "unrevised" text first above, while the second and third verses are as below.



Latin.png Latin text

Te corda nostra somnient,
te per soporem sentiant,
tuamque semper gloriam
vicina luce concinant.

Vitam salubrem tribue,
nostrum calorem refice,
taetram noctis caliginem
tua collustret claritas.



Translations

English.png English translation

1. To thee before the close of day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That, with thy wonted favor, thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.

2. From all ill dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Withhold from us our ghostly foe,
That spot of sin we may not know.

3. O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally. Amen.

Tr. John Mason Neale, 1852, alt.

English.png English translation

1. Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray,
that with thy wonted favour thou
wouldst be our guard and keeper now.

2. From all ill dreams defend our eyes,
from nightly fears and fantasies;
tread under foot our ghostly foe,
that no pollution we may know.

3. O Father, that we ask be done,
through Jesus Christ thine only Son,
who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
doth live and reign eternally. Amen.
Tr. John Mason Neale

German.png German translation


1. Bevor des Tages Licht vergeht,
o Herr der Welt, hör dies Gebet
Behüte uns in dieser Nacht
durch deine große Güt und Macht.

2. Hüllt Schlaf die müden Glieder ein,
lass uns in dir geborgen sein
und mach am Morgen uns bereit
zum Lobe deiner Herrlichkeit

3. Dank dir, o Vater reich an Macht,
der über uns voll Güte wacht
und mit dem Sohn und Heilgen Geist
des Lebens Fülle uns verheißt. Amen.

Friedrich Dörr 1969

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